Spending Diary 14th to 20th September 2020

Hi everybody,

Welcome to another week in the life of my spending.

14/09/2020

I woke up early today. Well, early for me. I started work at a good time and achieved more by the end of the day than I did last week due to my poor mental health. I was in much better spirits today.

I’ve been suffering a bit with my IBS and keep looking into healthy gut bacteria. I think it is part of the reason why I’m struggling to lose weight as well. It just makes me feel awful. It always flares up at times of stress. I’ve had it quite bad during lock down. I was getting it investigated but the test results were delayed because of the pandemic. I guess no news is good news.

I got a wash load done during the day on my lunch break and it was almost dry by the end of the evening as it had been a really sunny day. My flat mate and I don’t have a tumble dryer, though we don’t really like tumble dryers anyway, so we dry clothes on an airer and my bedroom is the designated drying room. We have to dry them quickly and with the windows open otherwise they begin to smell damp which no one wants. It is a household chore done with military precision catching the windows of time when the clothes will dry best.

My flat mate went to the shops as he fancied a different type of dinner. He bought 5 packets of instant noodles, Pepsi Max, 2 chocolate milkshakes, potatoes, hummus, falafel, vegetable sausages, tortilla wraps, a meat pasty, strawberries, courgette and a cucumber. It came to £13.03, but we split the food and household shopping between us so I will pay him back my half later.

I did 30 minutes on the exercise bike before dinner, which then gave me such a bad tummy ache that I was unable to do anything more afterwards. I try to do 60 minutes of exercise each day. We were watching Devs, maybe that made me feel uncomfortable.

I then was on my phone and decided to place an Amazon order with my vouchers. I had £21.28 in vouchers and I bought a 128 GB USB stick and some glasses lens cleaner. It came to £21.98 so my order cost me just 70p in cash. I bought the USB stick because this weekend is ‘papers’ in the KonMari method of decluttering my possessions and I am including all my digital files in that. I wanted a brand new USB stick to move all my digital files on to. I plan on going through every memory stick, every SD card, as well as all my email folders. I am quite looking forward to it. As a career I work in records management and I should really practice what I preach.

Today was also a successful day because I was able to keep under my calorie target. I used to weigh myself everyday but now I am only trying to weigh myself a couple of times a week. I think I was getting a bit obsessed and it was making me miserable. I’m willing to trial a few things to help me lose this stubborn stone.

I had a shower last thing at night and went to bed at a relatively sensible time. It is getting darker much earlier now. Summer has ended, sad times.

15/09/2020

I woke up at 5:45am and as I had to get up early today I thought I would stay awake, however I later fell asleep on the sofa downstairs. I was still able to start work earlier than usual though, and even earlier than yesterday.

I had a 9am meeting today on MS Teams which is why I was eager to get up early! That went very well, there wasn’t much need for me to contribute anything in this meeting so it was a low pressure feeling for me. I once again achieved a good body of work today.

The Boots order of toiletries I ordered last week never turned up at the store so I contacted Boots last week to try and track it. Today they got back to me. The order had either gone missing or never arrived at the store because it couldn’t be traced. They offered me the option of requesting a refund or having it reordered. Because the delivery never turned up last week I had to buy some additional toiletries at the weekend to get me through, so I requested a refund. That can take up to 2 weeks to come through though so I set a reminder on my phone two weeks today to chase it up if it doesn’t come through by then.

Also at lunchtime I submitted the meter reading to the energy company. I am keeping avid track of it as we got hugely into debt with them and had to pay a much bigger monthly amount to bring that debt down. Normally I would switch accounts to a new energy company or renegotiate the direct debit amount, but as I mentioned in last week’s diary my flat mate and I are looking to go our separate ways from this property so we are unlikely to be able to renew to a better annual contract. I haven’t actually looked into it one way or another, so I could be wrong.

I always submit the meter reading on the 15th of each month as the direct debit bill comes out on the 16th so it feels like the best date to check our energy usage for the month against our monthly bill. It certainly seems to be working so far!

Whilst I was on the energy company’s website I saw they had introduced a new feature called Carbon Offsetting. I looked into it. It was a way to do a quiz to see what my carbon footprint on average is each month and pay an amount to ‘off set’ it. I should mention that this particular energy company was chosen by me because it uses renewable energy sources so it is very environmentally friendly. I did the quiz and found out that it would cost £1.82 a month to offset the negative impact I have on the planet each month. Not a bad amount, it was less than the ‘prices start from £3’ it advertised, so I must be quite good. I paid the first one today and now that payment will come out on the 15th of each month.

I also did another wash load, I can nearly see the bottom of the wash basket which is cool as I haven’t seen the bottom of it for about 6 weeks! It was just full of laundry all the time. Finally I’m getting somewhere with it.

My flat mate was spending the evening with his girlfriend today. I went on a 60 minute walk around the parks in my local area, posting letters to my Aunt and my Grandpa on the way. I came home and made an interesting lentil and sardine daal/curry type meal. I liked it! I think I actually got the right amount of spices in it. I put in loads more garlic than usual too. Garlic is a good choice for healthy gut bacteria.

I put the dishwasher on and did the remaining bits of washing up, wiped down the surfaces, and also took the rubbish out as it is bin day. My neighbour has been putting her rubbish in our bin. I’m not sure why it bothers me. My flat mate and I produce less rubbish than she does, it makes sense she puts the rubbish bags in the bin if there’s space so they don’t hang out outside and attract rats, but I’ll be honest it does bother me and I don’t know why. I know what neighbor is it too because her flat’s bin had the same type of rubbish bags in it, and was overflowing. I don’t get how one person produces so much rubbish!

Aargh, I’ve ranted enough. It really isn’t a big deal at the end of the day. I just wish she had asked permission first. I wish I could put a lock on my bin.

I quickly did some Duolingo lessons. For the first time ever I got demoted from the Diamond League to the Obsidian League. Grrr. I have fallen a bit out of love with making time for the lessons, though I have still kept my 150 day plus streak going.

I’ve naturally been watching Marie Kondo’s TV series on Netflix whilst I am doing my decluttering. I just remember two years ago in 2018 when my flat mate and I moved into this flat as a couple from a 2 bedroom house it was a nightmare downsizing and due to various commitments we didn’t really have the time to dedicate to decluttering ahead of the move until we actually were moving! I remember my flat mate’s parents helped us at the time and they were getting stressed by just how much stuff we had.

I don’t want that to happen when I move next year. I want to be prepared for it. So I am decluttering now before I have to so it is far less of a stress.

It is now getting late and I still have some things to do before bed, so I will bid you goodnight.

16/09/2020

I went to bed after midnight last night and as a result I was sleeeeeeeepy this morning. Four cups of coffee seemed to do the trick. I started work later than I have the other two days this week which meant I would have to work till later to do a full day. There are some wonderful perks to my job and the flexible working hours and ability to choose my hours to an extent is lovely. There are certain hours I have to do each day, I have to start work before 10am and I can’t leave work before 3pm unless I especially book it off using holiday allowance, but those are agreeable terms.

I managed to get a great deal of work done. I presented some information to a different team on higher grades to me and it seemed to be well received so I enjoyed that experience. I managed to hit my target stats for the day, something I failed to do every day of last week when my mental health was bad. I cherish the support I have had from my line manager and colleagues recently. It has made losing my mum and getting back to reality so much easier.

Towards the later part of the day I was reading some updates on the Department’s intranet page and I saw a memorial notice had been listed for a member of staff in a team I don’t come into much contact with. I read the notice, this staff member had passed away from an aggressive form of cancer diagnosed just 7 weeks earlier. The passionate way this colleague was spoken about in the notice really moved me. I saw that a Just Giving page had been set up to raise money for Greenpeace. I copied the link and sent it to my personal email address so I could follow it up after work.

When I finished work I went to the local Tesco to pick up a few things. I don’t normally go to this Tesco because it’s small and is an Express and as a result the products cost more here due to the increased rent than the bigger Tesco Metro a little bit further away. But my flat mate was starving and wanted to make dinner as soon as possible. So I picked up onions, orange juice, lucozade and because I was craving it I bought a bottle of Pinot Grigio. The shopping came to £12.80. A bit more than it would have cost if I had gone to the other Tesco. Oh well.

Back at home I went on the exercise bike to cycle 15km whilst my flat mate made spaghetti Bolognese for dinner. I’m trialing eating my food slower instead of my usual tactic of pretty much shoveling it down in a really fast time. As a result this was one of the extremely rare occasions where I finished eating dinner after my flat mate. I had a large glass of the wine with dinner whilst we watched Devs. As my flat mate had made dinner it was only fair, as per the household rules, that I do the washing up. I put on today’s episode of Neighbour’s and watched up whilst it was on.

I had an app on my phone called SnapMyEats which rewards me for uploading food receipts, but recently it has become so full of glitches and annoying that today when I saw I had enough points to cash out a  £10 Amazon voucher I decided now was the time to delete it. I redeemed the voucher first and once that was uploaded I uninstalled the app and sent the support team an email about erasing my data.

My Amazon delivery from the start of the week arrived, all ready for my KonMari weekend of doing my papers and electronic files. It was a large memory stick and glasses lens cleaner. I kept borrowing my flat mate’s since I bought the blue lens filter glasses.

I then donated £10 (plus the £1.50 fee) to the Just Giving page I had emailed myself earlier.

Finally I wrote in my diary about my day and got ready for my shower.

17/09/2020

I woke up later than I would have liked, again. The trouble is if I go to bed any time after 11pm I am just a mess the next morning. I must work on that.

I was able to start work at a good time and had a very productive morning. At lunchtime at the advice from my line manager in a previous work catch up I decided to go for a walk because the weather was so nice. The UK might not be known for having good summers, but it does have good autumns. And autumn is my favourite time of year.

The walk took up the whole of my lunch time, but I had had a big breakfast so I didn’t need a hefty lunch. The walk did me a lot of good because normally I get a really bad afternoon slump straight after lunch, and although I still had a bit of brain drain it came at a much later point in the afternoon. I believe the Japanese have a way of living called shinrin yoku which translates into ‘forest bathing’ so I do try to get my daily dose of ‘trees’.

I had a counselling session on the telephone at 5pm. At least, I thought I did. My counsellor never rang. I checked the message I had about the appointment and it listed the 18th as the date, but we had agreed on the phone last week that we would have appointments at 5pm on Thursdays. So I’m not sure what happened. I guess I’ll see if I get a call at 5pm tomorrow.

I came downstairs and my flat mate decided he really wanted an Indian meal for dinner as we hadn’t had one in a really long time. We go all out when we have an Indian. Naan breads, samosas, onion bharjis, poppadum’, mango chutney and rice etc. Good thing I went for that walk!

It was his turn to go food shopping, so whilst he was out I went on the exercise bike doing interval sprints for the specific time of 47.5 minutes as that meant I had done on average 60 minutes of exercise each day. Every time my flat mate goes food shopping he always comes back with more things than were on the list and I keep telling him off for going overboard. Today was no different. He spent £11.55 picking up the main items we needed in Iceland and then £3 picking up the samosas and bharjis from the Indian food store near us. At least he was prepared to start the cooking. The dinner was really good. We watched Extinction: The Facts, the latest BBC David Attenborough show. It made for shocking viewing.

My flat mate then went upstairs to his room to paint. He is a painter in his spare time, mainly working on still life and landscapes. I did my Duolingo lessons and messed around with my online accounts changing some details. I had uploaded a £10 Amazon voucher from a side hustle so I bought 3 kindle books. They were ‘Just Eat It’ by Dr Laura Thomas, ‘Nudge’ by Dr Richard Thaler and ‘How Bad are Bananas’ by Mike Berners-Lee. The books cost me 25p after my voucher was taken off.

I still had the washing up to do and the night was getting on. I really wanted to read in bed. I finished watching the Marie Kondo series on Netflix and then the Home Edit started and I thought I might as well watch that whilst I did the washing up. I had tried watching it before and found it too bubbly. I guess I’m a real sourpuss! It seemed more enjoyable to watch the second time.

18/09/2020

I woke up at 3:45am feeling wide awake. I decided that was a crazy time to get up and tried to go back to sleep but was still awake half an hour later. So I decided to get up in the hope of making myself tired to fall back asleep, but it didn’t really work out that way.

I decided to get started on my KonMari method of decluttering my papers. I had decided to include my digital files in this so got out all my memory sticks (8) and camera SD cards (9). I went through so much stuff, so many old papers, pictures and old crap I no longer needed. I managed to make a great headway on the camera cards and had transferred all the pictures on to memory sticks and backed them up before I started work. I then had my most productive day at work, achieving my best stats of the week. I left my work laptop in really good spirits.

But then I had my telephone counselling session and my mood went downhill quickly. It just got to me talking about my body concerns, health concerns, reliving my bad mental health from last week that I just felt really bad.

My IBS has really been flaring up all week and I’ve had terrible stomach pains and felt so awful and under the weather. I scrapped my plans for a run, cycle and strength work out and went for an hours walk instead. I was feeling a bit mopey and in pain whilst doing my walk, but I felt immediately better when I got home. I made a quick omelette for dinner whilst watching today’s episode of Neighbour’s. I then got stuck into going through the digital files on my memory sticks. Lots more pictures. Things I hadn’t seen for years. I felt quite good going through them and remembering old times. I still decluttered/deleted some of them. I used to have a blog called ‘Umbrella Graveyard’ which is where I took photos exclusively of old, abandoned, broken umbrellas – a common site in Wales. I liked the premise of the blog but at the time I lacked the discipline to keep it up and I just let it flounder. I liked my photos but future generations might find it weird I had loads of folders of umbrellas, so I deleted them all.

I was watching The Home Edit on Netflix whilst decluttering. I ploughed through the series. I moved from digital files to my paper files and even though it felt like I went through these recently I found so much stuff to get rid of. I was ruthless. I then got rid of all the old plastic wallets I used to keep papers in that I don’t need anymore. I ended up with a bag of paper shredding and once I added all the other recycling and rubbish during the clear up I had another bag of recycling and a bag of rubbish to take down to the flat bins tomorrow morning. My flat is beginning to look pretty swish. I expect next weekend – komono (miscellaneous, or what I would call ‘bric a brac’) will take me longer than one night. I’ve been deliberately putting off moving on from one category to the next in the same weekend. I feel it is doing me good spreading the decluttering out and still giving myself time to do other things.

I had two glasses of white wine whilst decluttering, because it is Friday night after all, I deserve a treat.

19/09/2020

I finished watching The Home Edit and loved it so much that I watched it all over again! Seriously! 16 episodes in 2 days. That’s lockdown life for you.

I also had a look at the Tiny House Nation series on Netflix, and I watched The Minimalists documentary on Netflix too. Decluttering my possessions is changing my way of thinking. I want to stop buying lots of cheap stuff and buy good quality things. I want to look after the things I do have. I want to accumulate less and enjoy and appreciate the things I do have to the full.

I feel having watched The Home Edit that the KonMari method of decluttering is step one, or as Clea and Joanna would say ‘the edit’ and soon I will be on the stage of sorting out and organizing my possessions. I wish there was a Container Store nearby!

So naturally I had to buy the book. I looked on Amazon and one of the two books was substantially cheaper on Kindle, so I bought that one first. It cost £3.99.

20/09/2020

I woke up later than I would have liked to and delayed meeting up with my friends for our walk around a local park. They went to get coffee from the park’s café but I had stupidly forgotten my mask so had to wait outside. I paid my friend back £2 for my Americano. We walked around the whole park and then sat on the grass and chatted. I spoke about my mum for a bit and felt much better for it. I then left to get back to my home to do a Skype call with my brothers. I have three brothers and two half-sisters. One of my brothers is an English teacher in Vietnam so it can be hard to get hold of him. We had arranged this time as being mutually convenient for all. We spoke about issues surrounding my mum’s death. She didn’t have a will written and it has caused some delays and made elements of the admin side of a death harder. My youngest brother has taken over all the administration of my mum’s estate and has been doing everything. I really am thankful for that. I don’t think I could have done it.

Then the flat mate and I went to Tesco to do the food shopping. We bought squash, coffee, Pepsi, Lucozade, oat milk x 2, Yazoo, Actimels, milk, chopped tomatoes x 2, beyond meat burgers, orange juice, mushy peas, gravy granules, marmite, mayonnaise, 2 x pizzas, Weetabix, cheddar, bread rolls, carrots, avocados, apples, lettuce, parsnips x 2, bananas, cucumber and cherry tomatoes. We spent all that was left of the food shopping budget and some extra. We are now £15.51 over budget.

So with that I better stop shopping and finish the week here.

TOTAL SPENDING

FOOD AND HOUSEHOLD SHOPPING = £86.15 (MY HALF £43.07)

PERSONAL SHOPPING = £20.26

TOTAL SPENDING THIS WEEK = £63.33

Published by flodebtfreediary

Hello, I write about food, debt, saving money, mental health and social anxiety.

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